Saturday 25 November 2017

David Moyes gambled with Robin van Persie's fitness and is damaging Man United, says Raymond Verheijen

Manchester United's Robin Van Persie (L) walks past manager David Moyes during a training session
Manchester United's Robin Van Persie (L) walks past manager David Moyes during a training session

Oliver Pickup

Dutch coach Raymond Verheijen feels his predictions about David Moyes' supposed antediluvian training methods have been borne out, as Manchester United's star striker Robin Van Persie has struggled to sustain his fitness this season.

In the summer the Scot was labelled a "dinosaur" by Verheijen for overtraining the Premier League top scorer from the last campaign on the pre-season tour to the Far East and Australia; it was a "prehistoric" approach, he suggested.

And now, with Van Persie – currently out with a thigh strain – having suffered a string of injuries this term, the former Wales assistant manager during Gary Speed's reign has accused Moyes of "gambling" with the Holland attacker. Furthermore Moyes is technically deficient, according to the Dutchman.

"Coincidentally when United were in Sydney last July, I was there as well," Verheijen told Irish radio station NewsTalk on the Off The Ball show. "I went to the training sessions and I could see what they were doing with Robin van Persie. He had to do a lot of running work and sometimes he even had to do it twice a day.

"You have to keep in mind that he missed the first week of pre-season so his fitness level was lower than the rest of the team. That already means you have to be careful.

 "[Van Persie] had also just travelled for 30 hours and he had a nine-hour time difference. Normally the body takes a week to recover from that. And still, despite these difficulties, they immediately overtrained him because they want him to catch up on the rest of the team. Moyes literally said it in the media.

"You don't have to be Einstein to understand that is gambling."

In the podcast Verheijen went on to question Moyes' credentials, and inferred that United will have no chance of becoming champions of Europe under the former Everton manager's stewardship.

 "If you look at the track record of Moyes at Everton, in the nine pre-seasons that he did, he had seven or eight times an injury crisis in pre-season followed by a slow start to the season. Clearly that pattern repeated itself at United," he continued. "The planning and conditioning part in his coaching is prehistoric.

"The second problem of David Moyes is his technical awareness. If I look at the Manchester United games, I don't think he's technically the best coach in the world to say it in a polite way.

"Finally, if you are a coach and haven't won anything in your life or haven't even played a Champions League game, and you have to coach a team which is expected to win the Champions League and you are coaching players who have almost won everything, that is a very tricky combination."

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